Saturday, Third Week in Advent

by Matthew B. Harper

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

The stories that sustain us are the ones that remind us of a constant and loving presence. If you ask a child what the best thing about Christmas is, their response will certainly include the gifts of material things. But when you ask an adult, they will talk of wonderful family gatherings, of times spent together, of love that is celebrated and honored.

This verse from the psalms comes in the midst of words of trouble and persecution, of prayers that are begging for revenge and deliverance. In the midst of this heartfelt cry of pain and confusion, the psalmist is resting on the calm and certain assurance of God’s constant loving presence.

The Israelites, God’s chosen people, lived with years of turmoil, uncertainty, and fear. They did not understand why God delayed in delivering them from the persecution they suffered. We can look back and say that they were not yet ready for God, but in truth they were still not yet ready when Christ did come; and we are still not ready today. Christ comes in His time, and our worthiness is not required.

No matter how confused and hectic life gets, especially during the holidays, we know Christmas is coming. We know that Christ has come amongst us, and we celebrate that day of his birth. No matter our physical or emotional trouble, no matter our persecution or captivity, we have the same calm assurance that the psalmist had. Cast your cares upon the Lord, and God will sustain and deliver us.

What is the crying at Jordan? Who hears, O God, the prophecy? Dark is the season, dark our hearts and shut to mystery.

(Hymn 69)

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